Programmable Thermostats: How to Choose What’s Right for Your Home
A programmable thermostat automatically adjusts home temperatures on a schedule to fit the needs of the occupants. These units constantly monitor interior temperatures and make very gradual adjustments, a process that conserves substantial energy over manual adjustments by residents. A programmable thermostat will typically recoup its own cost in just one year of energy savings. Some smart programmable units also “learn” your home’s daily temperature patterns and constantly fine-tune the process of maintaining the setting to conserve energy and enhance interior comfort.
The choice of a thermostat for your home depends on the installed HVAC equipment. If your home has a furnace, central air conditioner or heat pump, you’ll need an electronic low-voltage thermostat. All programmable thermostats are low-voltage units that run off of 24 volts. High voltage thermostats that use 120-volt line voltage are generally reserved for baseboard electric heaters and radiant heating systems.
Three types of programmable thermostats are currently available:
- Standard programmable units are a good choice for homes with conventional A/C and forced-air furnace systems. These models provide preprogrammed schedules for maximum energy conservation and also allow users to input their own setting schedules to customize temperatures to their specific needs.
- Intelligent recovery programmable thermostats are best suited to homes with heat pumps. In addition to a full programmable capacity, these units evaluate temperature conditions and calculate the most energy-saving point to activate the supplemental heating function of the heat pump. This helps minimize the use of less-efficient supplemental heating.
- Interactive programmable thermostats permit you to monitor home conditions remotely from anywhere in the world via the Internet. The thermostat comprises a dedicated server that can be accessed online to check interior conditions and input changes to scheduled programs. Interactive thermostats may also communicate with local utility computers to determine the most economical temperature settings for peak and non-peak times of the day.
Sobieski Services is your go-to source for the latest in programmable thermostat sales and installation.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC & plumbing systems).
Image Credit: Chris Blakeley